As we all know, Blake Bortles was selected third overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the 2014 NFL Draft. The current starter, Chad Henne, is regarded as nothing more than a stop-gap until Bortles is deemed “ready.” It is usually the case of a young lion replacing a veteran. Perhaps we have to look at the situation from a different perspective.
I think that Chad Henne is going to play a key role in developing Blake Bortles.
Bortles has been compared to the great Ben Roethlisberger. The comparisons aren’t overblown. Blake has some of the same attributes as the Steelers great.
He has the ability to move in the pocket and evade other players. Bortles also has good arm strength. During the preseason, he also showed improved footwork and mechanics. He looked like the most developed quarterback of the 2014 draft class. There is also the fact that he looked much better than Henne during the last month.
Henne is a journeyman at best. He is 18-32 as a starter. The best that you can say about him at this point is that he is experienced. There is nothing exceptional about Henne when he plays. He is just “a guy.”
He may have some early success as the Jaguars have upgraded the receiving corps from last season. Eventually, his limited skills will be exposed. He can help Bortles even when he goes to the bench.
Henne, by all accounts, is a good teammate. He is what you want in a backup quarterback. Chad will know his role, and that is to mentor Bortles to the best of his ability. There is no doubt he is doing a great job of getting Blake ready.
There is a saying that class eventually shows over the course of a fight. This is a fight for the starting quarterback position. Henne won the first round, thus, he is the starter. He may even win the next few rounds.
Bortles is the young lion who is absorbing “punishment,” in this case, he is the backup. He is learning as this fight unfolds.
Sometimes, the veteran fades as the fight goes on. The young lion eventually gets his chance and has a breakthrough. Henne is going to have some bad moments and will get benched. That is when Bortles will get his chance. It could be the week one, week eight or near the end of the season. Bortles will win “by knockout,” and it will be his show.
Bortles has immense potential, but he needs a mentor to push him, even if meant temporarily losing out on the starting job. Chad Henne won the first few rounds, but Bortles will eventually win the fight. The experience that Bortles will gain from this struggle is going to help him in the long-term.
Chad Henne is going to play a key role in developing Blake Bortles and it will come from a time-honored tradition of competition.